European vaccine suspensions could have unintended consequences

Meanwhile, Britain’s healthcare regulator – which has delivered 11 million AstraZeneca vaccines so far, far more than any other country – says there are no proof that this vaccine presents an increased risk to health.

But conflicting messages about the seriousness of these reports – and therefore the risk of the vaccine – have left people worried and confused about what is going on. Some experts fear the news could harm wider efforts to get people vaccinated against the coronavirus.

“We don’t have much to do because governments make statements, but they don’t really publish data,” says Michael Head, senior researcher in global health at the University of Southampton in the UK. “Germany appears to have seen a very slightly elevated risk of thrombosis … but I just don’t see any data to suggest that we should suspend the deployment.”

One of the factors behind the suspensions, he said, could be that Europe is still in the early stages of rolling out vaccination – meaning some of those receiving doses right now are among the most fragile or most vulnerable. exposed to medical problems. AstraZeneca says its own studies show that incidents of coagulation are lower than one would expect among the general population.

The situation also plays into a wider discourse on the risk of vaccination. Many European countries have high levels of vaccine reluctance—a study in France suggested that only 40% of people were planning to be vaccinated against covid-19 – and the AstraZeneca vaccine, in particular, has sparked more concern and speculation than others.

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